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Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

14. What his policy is on the proposals of the European Commission on copyright term extension for performers; and if he will make a statement. (213883)

The Commission has not yet published its proposal. We will consider the detail of the proposal fully once it is published.

Is the Minister aware that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that performers would benefit enormously from an extension of the copyright term to the same length as exists outside Europe? It is not just about a few big-name artists but about thousands of session musicians and small performers who rely on royalties for their income. Will he seriously consider supporting the very encouraging recommendation of Commissioner McCreevy that Europe should come into line with the rest of the world?

I am certainly aware of the views that the Select Committee expressed, although I have to say that they were not the same as those expressed in the Gowers review. We have not seen the European Commission’s proposal yet, and we will obviously want to consider it fully once it is published.